Table of Contents
Also on this website:
Toby Johnson's books:
GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness
GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe
THE FOURTH QUILL, a
novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The
Dimensional Structure of
Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"
The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"
You're Not A Wave
What is Enlightenment?
What is reincarnation?
How many lifetimes in an ego?
Emptiness & Religious Ideas
Experiencing experiencing experiencing
Going into the Light
Meditations for a Funeral
The way to get to heaven
Buddha's father was right
Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal
The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
The Two Loves
Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook
Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer
The Way Out by Christopher L Nutter
The Gay Disciple by John Henson
Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry
Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth A. Burr
Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois
Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson
Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low
Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman
The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman
Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor
Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine
The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada
The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook
The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther
The Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel
Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak
Gay Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez
Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr
Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman
Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano
The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo
The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar
Occam’s Razor by David Duncan
Grace and Demion by Mel White
Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso
The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery
The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass
What's ironic about the right-wing fight against Gay Marriage is that it works in favor of creating a positive vision of gay life, and it shows the "Christians" to be very unchristian.
In the 1980s, when AIDS was devastating the gay male population in American's big cities, the right-wing emphasized how prodigiously promiscuous some gay men had been: they quoted figures showing that homosexuals had thousands of sexual partners in their lives. They gave the public reason to be judgmental and resentful of gay men who seemed to be getting so much sex. They said AIDS was a punishment for promiscuity.
In the early 2000s, the right-wing is attacking gay people
for wanting to be monogamous!
What's really happening is that the public--and especially gay teenagers (for whom this is important, life-shaping information)--are seeing that gay people are happy, long-term, successful couples who found love and happiness.
The gay people who are politely asking for the benefits and recognition of their relationships as parallel to straight people's marriages appear sweet, well-meaning, harmless. Some are attractive and sexy; many are middle-aged and dumpy.
The people who look deranged and narrow-minded and mean-spirited are the "Christians" who proclaim themselves offended by gay marriage.
(If you're offended by somebody's else harmless behavior, in a democracy you're supposed to turn your attention--change the channel--and look elsewhere. If you're offended, it's YOUR problem.)
Why would people go out of their way to oppose somebody else's happiness?
Can you imagine Jesus doing that? Or Buddha? Or Thomas Jefferson?
The behavior of the right-wing Christians simply shows they don't understand the basic teachings of Jesus. They apparently were more interested in reading the rules in Leviticus, saying who to hate and who to stone, than in reading the Sermon on the Mount or Jesus's revelation that the "New Commandment" is to love other people, recognizing them as other manifestations of your own self.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice's sake, for they shall be filled."
That saying of Jesus seems to refer to gay people's struggle for acceptance and understanding.
What's ironic is that if they just shut up and let gay marriage be accepted quietly, a small of gay couples who really needed the legal and health benefits would take advantage of the opportunity, and the whole issue would disappear from the public's attention. But because the right-wing has chosen this as THE wedge issue--which they identify as "morality" itself--they keep forcing the quite gay couples in the suburbs to come forth and declare themselves. And the public gets to see that for many homosexuals gay life means settling down into a stable couple just like straight life.
The more the right-wing tries to demonize us by showing we want to get married the more normal WE look!
What else is ironic
You know what else is ironic in this battle of the right-wing to turn American democracy into a Christian theocracy is their great reverence for these stone engraved monuments of the Ten Commandments that are scattered around the country on government property.
In the first place, those monuments were created and given to the states as a movie promotion for Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments. They are hardly sacred monuments or historical treasures; they were an advertising gimmick for Hollywood.
Besides--and more important--the first of the Ten Commandments forbids the making of graven images! Not only are these monuments a potential violation of separation of church and state in a modern liberal democratic society, they are self-contradictory. Even God didn't want graven monuments to his commandments!
And the last commandment of the Ten forbids covetuousness. What else is covetuousness except the aim of advertising? Advertising is designed to make people want things they don't have and other people do. That's coveting.
The basis of American business these days is advertising, encouraging people to covet the goods big business is offering them in a seldom-fulfilled promise to make them happy.
If devout Christians really want to honor the Ten Commandments shouldn't they change something about their own lives, rather than try to foul up gay people's lives?
Shouldn't Christians be picketing against advertising? And about graven images, for that matter! What could be more Judeo-Christian than an iconoclastic purge of religious images in the name of spiritual purity--and obedience to the First Commandment?
The priest pedophilia scandals of the last few years clearly show that there's something about priesthood and religious indoctrination that makes adult men incapable of leading mature sex lives.
The scandals are about the error of popular religion in dealing with sex.
But the irony is that it was the priests' homosexuality that was blamed, not their priesthood.
That it was priesthood that was the problem and not homosexuality is demonstrated by the large (but generally invisible) proportion of priestly sexual misbehavior that was heterosexual. Nearly half the victims in the victim organizations are women. It was NOT the priests' homosexuality that got these women abused.
Why gay people should NOT Marry
Wedding Cake Liberation
Gay Marriage in Texas
Shame on the American People
Toby Johnson, PhD is author of eight books: three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of his teacher and "wise old man," Joseph Campbell to modern-day social and religious problems, three gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's spiritualities and the mystical experience of homosexuality. In addition to the novels featured elsewhere in this web site, Johnson is author of IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD and THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET (Revised edition): AN APPRECIATION OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL.
Johnson's Lammy Award winning book
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of
Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated
PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature
of God and the Universe was published by Alyson in 2003. Both books are
available now from Lethe
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